The Predator from the start to the finish was a thoroughly enjoyable ride, with fantastic humor, great action, and enough gore to satisfy any fan of the original film. What you see in the trailer is exactly what you get.
The film wastes no time and starts with a literal bang in space before it transitions to Earth. What is refreshing is that most of the clips that we have seen in the trailers are clips that were present in the first half of the film rather than revealing anything that happens at the end.
The film is filled with the hallmarks of Shane Black where the characters are all likable, with fantastic interactions between them. The humor is spread out evenly and matches the personality of each of the individual members of the team that is chasing the predator, or rather predators in this film. Boyd Holbrook plays a father and military sniper who makes first contact with the Predator and is taken into custody as a result where he meets the rest of the cohort that will help him. A cohort that involves the Punisher himself Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, and Games of Thrones' very own Alfie Allen.
A surprise standout in the film was Olivia Munn, who was very enjoyable to watch as she interacted with the rest of the team, and two surprise cast members who were present which made the film that much better were Jake Busey, and Lochlyn Munro, simply because they were in the film. My favourite character was "Nebraska" played by Trevante Rhodes.
What is interesting about the film is that the characters involves are portrayed to have a variety of disorders, ranging from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and even Jacob Tremblay’s character being autistic. This, I personally think, helps bring awareness to what war veterans got through, and brings attention to autism just as The Accountant did before it with Ben Affleck.
In terms of story it was exactly what you saw in the trailer, the humans captured a Predator, the Predator escapes, there is a larger Predator, and shenanigans ensue. While the plot for the film felt very paint by numbers, the fact that the film manages to boost each cliched plot point with a healthy dose of steroids makes it all the more enjoyable as a result.
They did not hold back on any of the profanity in this film which added to the overall atmosphere and made things all the more enjoyable. In addition the gore was incredibly well done, making it both brutal and fun. The visual effects were well done with most of the effects being practical, the integration of CGI effects did not at all feel out of place.
The soundtrack more often than not harken back to the original Predator which was fun at the start, however at points towards the end of the film it was a little distracting as you were constantly reminded of a far superior film that you could be watching instead. In addition this rendered any of the new compositions so pale in comparison that they were completely forgettable.
The references towards the previous two predator films were so minimal that you could theoretically enter with this film and find yourself following the story without any trouble at all. Of the references which included the previous instances when the Predators previously came to Earth, one reference made the inner Predator fan in me really happy yet at the same time made the moment feel slightly out of place simultaneously, upon first viewing at least, my opinion of it may change if I see it again. (It refers to a certain profanity filled description of the Predator in the first film, is all I will say.)
Ultimately, what makes the film really work is the chemistry between the cast members, their interactions and the great dialogue that is typical of a Shane Black film. Added with a sprinkling of over the top violence, gore, and a heaping spoonful of surprisingly creative profanity. Therefore I would recommend going to see it in the cinema as it is a thoroughly good time.